Thursday, December 1, 2011

What To Do With Those Repos? Facebook Them!

During these tough economic times it is not uncommon for consumer banks that originate auto loans - particularly used auto loans - to have to pick up a repossession or two. In many cases banks will dispose of the autos through wholesale auctions or wholesale transactions with used auto dealers. Depending on the car and the outstanding balance, sales through auctions or directly to dealers will result in marginal to significant write offs, as the banks are forced to accept deep discounts.

Fortunately, with the purchase of a fairly low cost video camera and video editing software, banks can now create and distribute videos through social networks in an effort to connect directly with consumers and obtain retail sales prices on their repossessed autos - and possibly provide the financing to qualified borrowers.

After exploring its options, Pan American Bank (my employer) in Los Angeles initiated a social media-based program that distributes videos on YouTube, Facebook and other platforms to publicize its repossessed used autos.  Through the use of in-house videos, Pan American Bank is able to achieve several goals:

  1. Publicize the sale of its repossessed autos directly to retail buyers, reducing/eliminating the losses  experienced from wholesale transactions.
  2. Create a following among consumers seeking quality used autos.
  3. Increase the Bank's visibility. 

As the cost of  video equipment and video editing software has fallen sharply (most cell phones provide video capability), many individuals have become pro-am videographers.  If your organization has little to no budget, a great place to begin a search for a video expert is within your organization.  A simple e-mail blast to employees asking for experienced videographers may result in one or more in-house resources.  This will reduce costs and increase flexibility.  If an in-house resource is not available, inquire with students at local high schools and colleges. Finally, call on video services.  If budget is not a problem you may want to seek a professional right away.  However, you may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of employees.

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